Saturday, October 30, 2010

Body Failure

Yep, still sick. Not in a great mood, pretty much in a hate the world type mindset. Ok, that's a little extreme, I'm in a hate the germ world right now. I know I probably did it to myself, I held off as long as I could to make my decision on what could have been a very fun day with great people. It was hard to do it know the ridicule I would take from Peter for not going would be almost as bad as the potential death I would probably receive had I attempted it. I swallowed my pride, which is dramatically hard right now with my wonderfully swollen throat.

So the plan for the weekend? There will be no Antirace, there will be no Delstalk, there will be no Hillbilly Hustle. There will be lots of sleep, lots of indoor couch time, there will be lots of rest, there will be lots of movies watched.

I'm not a happy person when I'm sick, I know nobody really is but I plan to not push my grumpy attitude towards, well everything on anybody else this weekend. Hopefully my focused anger on said germs will work on killing the little bastards off and I can return to my happy place.

More thrills tomorrow, the thrills may be limited.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Ignorance is bliss,.

I tried, I figured if I avoided the thought it couldn't happen. I saw all the signs and tried to divert where those signs would lead. Ya, didn't work.

It's been a couple days now since my throat has been sore, it was a couple days earlier that I sensed something was a little off but I just motored on with life, eat healthy, sleep obviously not as much as my body would have liked, drink plenty. Unfortunately the last line may have been the overwhelming one on that fine line of getting healthy or getting sick. It was my Antirace training.

Like a long race, training is needed. You can wing it with very little training and feel like death the next day scratching your head thinking why did I even consider attempting it OR you can put a little base training in and be a bit prepared for what is about to happen and compete like a champion. I was attempting somewhere in the middle of all this. I wasn't going on benders every other night which to be a competent competitor at the DelStalk side of the event is needed. Team Speed can verify that.

In the end my ignorance has me feeling not so Olympic. What the end results will lead to? Unsure at this time, the ride is still on at this point but the apres festivities may be restricted to the sport category with some cheering from the sidelines. I am packing for the full on festivities at this point. The power of the mind may be able to will this thing away.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

My first love? Maybe

But I really like to sleep right now. Daylight savings time is when? It's 7:30 and it's still dark? This sucks, I want to sleep, my body is telling me to sleep. I can't wake up at my normal time because it just seems way to early. I need you coffee. I need vasts amounts of you. I love you coffee.

Shaking is fun, I want to shake, it will make up for the lack of time on the bike. Riding is over rated when I can just shake. Shaking works all the muscles at once. I could race and do well in the shaking department. 8 hours of shaking could be fun. Please make me shake coffee so I can get off this couch and go to work and make money so I can buy more coffee. Coffee, I love you.

Side note: This was done in 8 minutes since I barely got my ass out of bed this morning. I managed to get 2 cups of coffee into me in that time. I have not seen my normal wake up time of 6ish in a few weeks. Today 7:15, not impressed. I like to have wake up time.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

What time is it

Having a hard time dragging myself out of bed these days. Not for any more reason than it just doesn't feel right. I'm not waking up any earlier, not staying up any later. It's just that dark. Not sure if daylight savings time will make a difference, it's just that time of year that I want to hibernate in bed. I almost want snow now, it at least brighten things up.

No real excitement in the cycling world happening. Enjoying the down time away from a schedule. Hmmm, think I'm going back to bed, wake me when it's Saturday.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cleaning my UMMM big wheels

With the weekend approaching very quickly I wandered my way down in the basement, what will I ride. It is the Antirace so anything carbonish is pretty much frowned upon. With the weather not looking all that great and having a little knowledge of the area the Anthem's and the XC Carbon will stay at home in their newly cleaned up state. The decision on which bike was made as I made my way through that scrub down put away for the winter type cleaning.

Not all them got it for that just in case type ride but I was down to only a couple options left, the cross bike which in some cases could almost be the bike of choice if there is any hike a bike to happen. Hoping not. In the end it has come down to this.

It has big wheels, it has minimal gears, it has very little suspension travel. It's my big old 29'er. Yes I've drank kool aid once. it was spiked and ended up with a bad hang over. The 26 inch SS is still under construction, being my bike for Joyride bike it's coming together slowly. After a few minutes of scrubbing of the cobwebs and half way tuning. Didn't take long to get the derailleur and suspension set I'm pretty much ready for the weekend.

While cleaning the bikes had I only seen this first. Does it work for bikes? Does it come with the models?

I know not really related but thought it was hilarious.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Hidden treasures??

For some maybe. As the weather broke for half of the weekend I found myself craving an easy ride. With monsoon type conditions predicted for the week it pretty much could be the last chance until the Antirace. I was in that slow it down and look for something I've never seen before in my own backyard type mind. Why was I feeling like that? When you're wandering around 1000 pairs of skis looking for that perfect deal it just kinda happens. I did show restraint though and came out empty handed. Many not so lucky, excited for snow to play with their new toys.

So to spin out the brain, and the legs which for some reason seem to be hurting more now with the inactivity I grabbed the cross bike and headed out by way of the rail trail. This was the first ride in a very long time that was completely electronic free. No cell phone, wasn't planning on going far enough to feel I needed it. This meant no music also, but the big one was the body was minus a strap and display saying your not working hard enough. The freedom of no heartrate monitor was well, freeing!! There will not be a heart rate strap burning party in the future, I'm not that liberated.

The next in the line of things to find.

Batman's boat? I've found this before but figured he might have figured out where he'd left it by now and removed it from public use.

Then there was this, on a random trail off the rail trail. Yep those are jumps, no I didn't hit them, I have little plan on ever attempting to hit them.

The legs needed the easy spin, looking like it's an indoor based week unless you're a duck. Collingwood area and rain, hmmm. Next weekend could be interesting.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Thoughts about things to come

That mini blast of snow on Thursday evening may have reality checked a lot of people. The worst thing is most know it's coming but continue to deny things for as long as possible and with winters seeming to start a little later the last few years maybe many are getting a little soft. Not this fella, the ocd over planner workaholic who is now done racing his bike for the season and not really riding much means I have so much spare time on my hands I almost don't know what to do. Wait yes I have a plan for that.

The blast in October is nothing new, to give people the shivers of what could happen. I've been on the ski hills of Horseshoe sliding around on Nov 8th once with Mt. St. Louis opening a few days later on the 15th. It was a great year when I was in one of my previous lives as a full time ski instructor at MSL . That particular year on this exact same weekend, ski swap weekend at MSL and Hardwood was a weekend of reality checks in weather. Went into the bar around 10pm with rain pouring down washing my then hot rod Honda Civic. Summer rims on, no predictions of snow for that day, excited for the ski school meeting the next morning. 3.5 hours later coming out to the bar with the crowds and all of us with that stunned what the hell just happened look on our faces. 2-3 inches of wet heavy snow lining everything. Took an hour to get up the main street hill, the car in 3rd gear tires screaming there way through the snow begging for traction in the pavement below. It turned into a long winter that year.

Last year was a start very similar, at least in this area. I live in that area that traps that winter streamer, what ever snow you have fall in your yard, add a few inches then a few more and that's what I'll be getting. I'd been using my snowblower for a solid month last year before the city of Barrie was even told that winter was here. I don't mind, I do like the snow even though my driveway does have it's moments. Anyone looking for a part time job clearing it for me??

So why the talk of winter, well it's time to start preping for winter thrills. Road trip to Hardwood again this weekend for the ski swap, a 2nd pair of classics are on the need list amongst the things on the want list. I can take this time away from the house with no regrets as other's are now scrambling. While the line up to get the snow tires on is growing at every tire dealership, I've already done it. Along with making sure the snowblower is working perfect, firewood is stacked in the wood room of the house, wine rack is filling in, storm windows are up. Basically everything is ready to go if it snowed tomorrow. That said I would prefer it doesn't. I like the snow but it must hold off till after the antirace. I think it could confuse the Misfit crew. It could be a weird day seeing them go from one gear to one ski or snowshoe. Drinking would most definitely be needed.

On that note, time to step my head outside and see what the weekend has to offer. This could include an easy spin on the bike. Just maybe.

Friday, October 22, 2010

It had to come to an end

After much debate, much temptation, much I really don't know what else I've pretty much pulled the plug on the rest of the season. Maybe it was seeing the snow, maybe it was seeing the next week is predicted solid rain. It's been a great season of racing. The bikes will not be fully put away, those perfect fall sunny days will still see me turning the cranks but I'm going to take advantage of the off season with some good recovery time. Yes, I'm still hitting up the Antirace!

How do I know this is the right decision, the Anthem is still hanging from the bike stand, still dirty from Sunday's race. Not really dirty but I didn't do the norm of cleaning and tuning so things are ready for the next adventure. Instead it's just hanging there screaming "pay attention to me" and I've just either walked by looking the other way or worse, shut the light off and close the basement door which works great at muffling the cries.

So good luck this weekend to everyone at provincials, enjoy the rain, enjoy the vomit intensity, enjoy scrubbing your bike for hours afterwards. I won't be there, I'll be sitting on the couch, warm and dry drinking vasts amounts of coffee!!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A change of lifestyle

She has nascar passed some of Canada's best riders, she has also crashed out almost as many. She has set a lap time around an Ontario Cup course that most sport level riders would be jealous of. She's even been on the podium a few times. She wasn't fully invited but was cheered while up there. Unfortunately that time has come and gone. Most know that the Molly Monster was hit by a car 2 months ago. Besides many scrapes and bruises she ended up with a broken bone in her right leg. It could have been a lot worst.

So after many trips to the vet, x rays, visits with a surgeon a final decision has been made, Molly's bike racing career as a pace setter has ended. The bone has not healed, there was no sign of any attempt of repair after the first x-ray. Of course the surgeon wants to go to school on her with a knife that could still only offer questionable results. There has been lots of debating back in forth on this thought. Some discussions with people outside of the normal animal world has helped come to the conclusion. Some of those people were the ones that have done miracles with my own body and also have things like DR attached to their name. Molly is not going to be put through the surgeon.

It's been interesting watching her personality over the last few weeks, let's just say that you can tell she is frustrated and confused. She's bored and has built up energy that has been forced to be contained. Almost instantly she seemed to sense that things were going to be dealt with a different way and she had some bounce in her step, I also let her have that bounce.

The biggest concern right now is 8 weeks in a splint, the frozen joints, tightened tendons and weakened not used muscles. Had we proceeded with the surgery which was far from 100 % guaranteed it would have been another 10 weeks in a full time splint. The recovery time on top of that??? I remember how long it took for my wrist to loosen up after 7 weeks in the cast. 15 years later I still don't have full flexibility in that joint.

So a removable splint has been ordered for the short term but a custom built brace will be made. The research has been done and for what she will be doing in the future this is going to be the best option for her. She will be able to walk with no problems, even run. Will she be doing the Monday Night Something ever again. With bikes I doubt it, but you never know. Snowshoeing hopefully so, xc skiing same thought. These braces are pretty amazing, you can even get them made in carbon fibre, yes I know. I'm thinking the same thing.

The next step has been taken. Molly is liking this next step. That's the most important part.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The things you find with out looking

Chilling and surfing a little and I came across this. Flash backs of a fun day. Was my only time to be ahead of Jon Barnes, at least for the distance the camera covered.

Then there was this. Most are in the know, some may not be. The race to end all races. The best way to finish up a season and it all leads into a night if you do it right you won't remember.

The newest most up to date info is HERE. You need to go to this event so Peter won't be standing in the parking lot alone. Last year close to 30 were there to help Peter's loneliness. Yes there will be beer.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Flexing? Why is that a funny looking skin colour

Feeling a little broken. Attempts to ride came to a failure because of outside reasons but either way it was probably for the good. Walking with a little bit of a limp, not a full on gangsta limp but more of a slight shuffle. Not cool enough to have the gangsta limp. Left quad has developed a huge lump on it and that lump is definitely not muscle. At least it happened at the end of the season.

Potential continuations of the season are still being considered, last weekly cross race is Wednesday. That's hopefully going to happen. Provincials, Hillybilly Hustle, Nationals, Hardwood, Barrie are all potentials. So is sitting around and relaxing.

That's what I'm going to do for at least the next hour while there is still coffee in the pot and the laser does it's thing.

Monday, October 18, 2010

50km Singletrack Challenge

It wasn't just me that was using the 50km as the last mountain bike of the season. Perfect conditions and rumours on how fun it was last year brought out a huge field. Just under 190 rider ranging in age and ability. The front couple rows looked like the start of any Ontario Cup race.

After a few instructions from Glenn and a quick comment from me, something along the lines that if it's not taped it's legal. If I only know how much that was going to come back on me. We were off and after an initial blast a pack of us settled into a good pace up the start climb. No one that shouldn't have been in the mix was in the mix as we headed into the first piece of single track. Clean, no bottle neck for us. Ripped through Serious pretty smooth, just a little slower than a weekly race coming through the check point in a very comfy spot.

Onto the next course, Radical is well radical. Steep climbs, steep rooty descents, mini drops etc. Familiar ground for those that have done the Canada Cup here. Aww the Canada Cup course, as I blasted around a doubletrack corner I became a person of routine. I saw a sign and a taped entrance to a trail, that's were the CC goes, I didn't see the Radical sign 20 feet further away. Luckily I only went about a minute or so down the trail before seeing the Sidewinder sign. %&$(!!!!! Of course a minute or so back. Don't panic, kept it sane and worked my way back into my head. Dropped 4-5 spots in the overall because of that. Still lot's of time left and I was feeling good. Maybe to good, started to push the technical sections and pulled back a couple riders. Maybe that downhilling at Horseshoe paid off.

Of course that's when I over pushed, heading into a section I know but over gauged my speed, missed the prejump, launched, flew and then proceeded to have my best crash of the season. It was one of those ones that I stopped and stared for a second or two thinking WTF and did I break anything. Heard later from Don who was just behind me that I left one hell of a groove in the ground. Couple minutes of chill riding to regroup my head and I was off again. Feeling good minus the pain in my left quad. Riped through Cranked with easy and knew I put some time into a few riders that I needed to. Was in 2nd in my division at that point and felt good.

Up the start climb I grabbed a wheel of the wall named Brandon. With my head down and talking I totally gaped wasn't looking at signs and when Brandon pulled off I proceeded right up the start climb. I love climbing so much I wanted to through an extra one in. Yet another minute or two lost going in the wrong direction, yep the same time trying to get back on course. This time I started to swear to myself a lot more. I also started to hammer a lot harder. I knew I had a comfort zone but thought I just burned it all off on that nav error. Forget a taped course I need huge neon flashing signs telling me which course to go on!!!

I made my way back on the pack only losing one spot in division. I continued to push hard knowing that the last course would almost be impossible to gain anytime on anyone. Fun is just that fun, fast and flowing with little in the lines of technical which is what I needed. For the 4th time I caught up with Don Gain as we had flash backs to our Weekly Series battles 8 years ago, fun times. Followed him through Gnarly but I started to get that funny feeling. Not a fun feeling for sure. I was started to break. Ran one of the last crazy steep hills which seemed to be faster that riding but either way it started to really hurt. Things went downhill from there, both the course and me. Let Don go and told him who he was chasing. I just tried to hold on to 3rd. At the pace I was going I knew it wouldn't be long before someone caught me, it ended up being Paul, there goes 3rd. I tried to get back on track and kept him in sight.

Through Fun it was exactly as I thought, couldn't do much. I dropped a couple more spots in the overall and one more in the division. The tank was empty. As I crossed the line I was happy to be done. I was in a great mood though considering all my screw ups, I pushed hard. 10 minutes later Mother Nature opened up with rain and wind. Glad I was off my bike. From there some Anti Race training was done in the parking lot. Liquid Carbs helped get the body back in check.

So what's left, lot'.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Power house? Not really

The reason's you never hear about my upper body and core workouts. First off I just don't do them, there were attempts a few years ago and lets just say that my body yelled at me so badly that I thought I would be scared emotionally. An interesting side of it though is that I don't have an upper body of a 12 year old girl and it doesn't strain me to pick up anything heavier than a xc bike.

This is part of what I do everyday.

That tub assembly weighs about as much as I do and that machine in total weighs as much as the podium finishers at the last race combined. Yep, my daily life has me wrestling large washing machines with one hand and pushing car size refrigerator's around like a pimp does his. Ok won't go there. Mix that in with those other days filled with firewood splitting and moving in the fall, snow removing my slightly larger than normal driveway in the winter, yardworking in the spring and summer etc, adding in much more would probably kill me.

As the fall off season halfway training stuff is about to start kicking in the temptation to put a weight bench into the basement crossed my mind. Of course my concern is this.

Yep, I'd be just huge and it could potentially slow me down with all that extra weight. As much as my shallow side wants to look jacked for photo opps I've decided to scratch the idea for yet another year. I'll continue to bench press microwaves and dishwashers for a little longer.

Sun is out, looks warmish, time for a quick ride to get the legs fired up for tomorrow.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Keeping it simple

As promised I stepped back from the 4 wheels world and jumped back into the life of two wheels. The weather cleared enough but I was in the mood that I needed to ride regardless. It turned into one of those rides that just makes you smile at the end.

Headed out on one of those random roads I have in my backyard, gravel seemed to be the choice tonight, the destination. Well a picture is better than words.

As the weather turns colder, the leaves change, the cottagers are gone it was really peaceful. There was no music blasting in my ears to kill the moment. From that point on in the ride, the reflection of this past season started. Wow it's been a long season. I think it's been a pretty successful one also with lot's of highlights, a couple low points. The great thing was how quickly the recovery was from the low points, at least mentally. With the last official race coming up quickly, Sunday.

The thoughts started to wander to 2011. The planning, the training, the bikes, the travelling etc and that was when I great line popped into my head.

I listened, stopped and enjoyed the view that I pass daily. This is 2 minutes from my house. Sometimes you need to just slow down.
Body actually feels pretty good considering the lack of training, minimal of riding and only a bit of recovery. Actually going into the 50 km in better shape than I did last year. Should be fun .

Thursday, October 14, 2010

How about to the right?

Since I was lame and failed at any attempt of riding last night, I was tempted, I was willing, I even went to a place to ride (minus a bike) but all those attempted thoughts ended up being a failure. I did register for the last officially scheduled race though, more on that later. I figure my rant yesterday, like a long race is something that is worthy of two days.

Turns obviously scare people and because of their turns inadequacy you would feel that they would warn people of this. How often do you see people actually using their signal? Ok what about using it properly? What is properly? This means before you come turn, before you touch your brakes and begin to slow down, before you have entered the lane the signal comes on. I love the people that roll into a left turn lane, stop at the light then turn on their signal. Signals are warnings of your intentions no pretty yellow strobe lights that are only to be used when that good song comes on and you feel like dancing in the car.

I sometimes wondered if signals were options for certain model cars, the more you spent the better chance you would get them included in the luxury package with sat nav and leather seats but I see equal numbers of failures in both Cadillac's as I do in Kia's. Hmmm so since they seems to be standard in all vehicles you would think people would be inclined to use them. Hell you paid for it, might as well.

Now speaking of stop lights, is it me or has the percentage of red light runners increased dramatically in the last little while? I'd be safe to say that 50% of the major intersection red lights will have at least one car run through. What is the reason? Not paying attention? HMMM scary thought. Feels that the red light only applies to certain people on certain days? Blue eyed people get a pass on the even days of the month. Normally the speed that people are heading towards the light is low enough that braking would be easy with ABS brakes would not even be remotely strained. There are points lost for running a red light. Potential accident to if someone ever decided to move when their light turned green and made an example of some of these people.

So enough about going slow, what about life on the highway. First up CRUISE CONTROL people!!!! Since people seem to be afraid of the lateral g force it also seems that forward momentum seems to build up pressure on their body forcing them to lift their foot off the gas pedal and pulse their speed up and down. HMMM so since they can't turn maybe they can't use the gas pedal properly either. Cruise control would solve that. I bet you would see less traffic tie up's on the highway. Mix that in with people driving in the proper lane and highway flow would be amazing.

Yes lane use, that wonderful left lane, STAY THE HELL OUT OF IT!!!! unless you are passing a car then put your signal on and head back to the right. That is a passing lane not a driving lane. I love it when I come up behind two vehicles side by side at the same speed. They don't know each other but thought they would share a moment on the road and try to merge together. Nascar drafting only works when you're one in front of another.

Little side notes for you to watch. The colour beige or champagne is usually linked to old or slow drivers. Buick, Oldsmobile and Toyota Camry's are speed limited to 10 under the limit. There is no age zone for bad habit drivers but I do find more 40-50 year olds have a problem with the lane option and the signal option. The under 30 crowd seems to feel they are invincible and the world will stop for them if they don't stop for the light.

With winter coming I could go on a different rant about winter drivers but I'll save that for another day. I will do my very best to do something bike related today and step away from the car stuff tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

To the left, to the left

So this is a rant, if you don't feel like hearing my rant come back tomorrow. I may offend a few, I may cause a few to realize what they do, I may end up just putting a bunch of words down here that just blow off steam for me and accomplish nothing more.

So I drive, a lot. I put in huge miles a year in my work truck both in town and on the highways. Mix that in with lot's of travel time to different races I feel I have the hours banked on the road to be able to complain. People drive like absolute shit now a days. I know I'm so old, when I was growing up they still had, see that line can't work since we still had cars. What I wonder is why has our driving skill in general decreased.

First up, let's start with he lack of common courtesy and self realization problem. How often have you seen it where another driver, cuts you off, illegal lane changes, does something in a stupid matter and when you honk at them just thinking they didn't see you as a warning they give you the finger or more. This of course brings up the other side of things that someone trying to merge and doing it properly, signal, accelerated to the same speed etc and the car that could allow that person to move over speeds up and closes the gap. Nice. I could go on about people that block an intersection, a mall entrance, for hours but that's just the minor in the city stuff that annoys me.

My trip to and from Ottawa happens to put me on some great driver type roads. I take this way because I love the roads so much. Normally there is not a lot of traffic but of course this past weekend was just a little different. SO the car is a modern day marvel, the dam things can almost drive themselves. Huge horsepower, power steering,anti lock brakes, traction control, stability control. So with all this technology why is it that everyone lately happens to have a fear of curves????? It's not just me that noticed this, even Mom complained about it after her drive home. I can understand if it was winter, hell I live in the snow belt or if it was pouring rain etc but this is in day to day driving in perfect dry conditions. Of course people have no fear of going straight and make life difficult but mashing their foots to the floor when they stop turning.

I watched a truck go from 100 km/h down to sub 80 on every corner this is just one of many examples I can bring up in a day to day drive. Of course the acceleration made it very difficult for most cars to try and pass, a mini drag race after the corner so the line up continued to grow longer and longer. Back to the courtesy thing, do you think he looked in his rear view mirror and thought, hmmm maybe it's me that's hold up traffic. I should pull over and let them go by. Of course not. Ever wonder why my last car was twin turbo'd Audi and the SE-R I currently have is faster than I really need, it's for situations like this.

So why is there a fear of curves? Is it based on the video game life where we see everything in 2D and that 3rd dimension freaks us out? Have people been watching to much racing on tv and feel that because Dale Jr has to do it into turn 4 that they need to do it on the roads, I wonder if they realize that at 200 mph he needs to but most north American roads are designed for much higher speeds than what's posted. Is it the high obesity's rate of north Americans and their lack of physical strength is over powered by those huge g-forces created when going left and right that they couldn't hold on to the steering wheel? I really don't know but it frustrates the hell out of me.

So my random thought for this, be nice what ever speed you drive the corners at. Stay at that speed. Stay consistent, use your cruise control. That amazing device is one of my favorite things ever added to the car and I use my constantly, I wish more did, that would lead me to the rants about people's speed issue on the major highways which are almost straight as an arrow. HMMM out of time, more coffee then it's off for a day in the Element on major roads. Fun Fun Fun!!!

I knwo that I'm not the perfect driver, I know I bend a few laws, this is just my opinion.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Food and riding. A perfect match!!

There is apparently no internet in Ottawa, ok maybe not. I was slacking with things like sleeping in, doing nothing, eat and some riding mixed in. This is the good part of the weekend rundown. Actually the whole weekend was phenomenal but I'll go off on a rant about the actual drive in a day or two.

After recovering from 5 plus hours in the car Friday night the best way to do that is to ride some trail you have never been on before. The brother-in-law and I met up with Tanya and Scott at 2pm in P7. The plan was to spin out to Camp Fortune. My vast knowledge of it consisted of knowing they run a weekly race series there, that's about it. So after the bestest way to start a ride, about a 10 minute climb right out of the parking lot we started to hit up the first sections of singletrack.

Rick pointing out where the trail used to be, lot's of leaves down made for some interesting sections. It's amazing how a 3 foot hole can disappear under one leaf.
I will say that I like Ottawa area, single women seem to just show up no matter where you are. We ended up having Heather and Julie join our group, they were Fortune newbies also. If I only lived closer.

At the top of the CBC climb. From here the fun began. This was one of the rare times when I think it took longer to go down the hill than it did to climb. Some amazing trails, big rocks. Let's rephrase that, huge rocks. Think of racing Buckwallow but now on a hill. Sorry for the lack of pictures of the trails themselves.

After 3 hours of play we rolled back to the parking lot. Attempts were made to distract Tanya away from finally moving into her new place on Sunday were made. Camp Fortune, FUN!!! Thank you for the tour.

Sunday was a change of disciplines as the road bikes came out. The area we were is known to be very windy and Rick has a very unorthodox riding style. We headed out with a cross wind which soon after a turn to the left became a great tail wind. What ends up happening, Rick hammers, full out. "I kill it while it's fun and then just try and survive the ride back into the wind" I let him kill himself knowing exactly what was going to happen. And it did.

As we turned to the left again his pace weakened a bit, no more upper 40km/h speeds. The big open fields gave very little buffer of the wind. It was going to be a little bit slower on the return line. Ya Rick was tucked in what little draft I'm able to make for him. After the fun on the trails yesterday I really planned on staying in endurance for the whole ride. The head wind made it tough and except for a section on the highway that I just wanted to get done as quickly as possible.

A great 2.5 hour pre eat a lot dinner ride finished up a great weekend. I'm a little sore today, not from the riding though, 12-13 hours of driving over the weekend has my body in craving of a long stretching session. the body is feeling as twisted as my mind.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Waiting I know

The return to routine begins in the morning. Patience please. Promise it will be worth the wait. Maybe there will be prizes? Maybe a pony and a clown? Maybe there will be a circus? Maybe but probably not. It will just be a run down of the a weekend in the day in the life of me. I will say it was a great weekend and some stories are to be told.

Friday, October 8, 2010

I'm up at the same time as normal but it's beginning to get more difficult to get rolling in the morning. The fact that I beat the sun up every morning this week. I'm not expecting much of an attempt from the sun for at least the next 4 months.

Molly agrees

It means mornings of more light, more coffee, more coffee and more coffee, while attempting not to go into the natural thing of hibernation.

It's looking like a fantastic weekend ahead, a weekend of great fall weather, great fall riding in a different area with different people topped off with a great fall eating tradition. Road trip to Ottawa this weekend. Unfortunately this means I'm skipping the local enduro on Saturday. Original plan was to ride/race it then head east but the though of spending 5 hours in the car right after a 4-5 hours on the bike at this time of the year really didn't impress me much. Rolling into Ottawa at 8-9 pm eating the next morning and leaving would really not impress my family much either.

So plans have been changed, a tour of some Ottawa trails on Saturday will be guided by the Vegan Vagabound. It will be a chance to get out with some old friends. Looking forward to the change of scenery. The road bike will also be strapped to the roof of the car and I've tentatively mapped out a road ride that could include a couple water crossings, these happen to have a boat to bring you across. The way it should be. Mix all that in with a great winding road on the way out and a possible detour drive on the way back the weekend is looking up.

Bag's are not packed, car is not packed, coffee is tasting great!!!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Yesterdays confusion of the body left the body in a dazed mode, I'm not fully blaming the skates and my unorthodox ideas of training for the day. The warmth of the sun and the lack of wind also sucked the will to push to hard. It was one of those perfect days to be on the road, remembering the fall riding rules!!!

Headed out along Quarry Road with a half way thought out route, it took only a few minutes for me to realize that skipping the cross race was a great idea. Leg's were lacking in horsepower and when I did attempt to run what I brung the heart rate stayed in the bottom of the tank. Decided to ride at the pace that allowed both to be screwed up and just enjoy the scenery.

As I rolled through Coldwater I had to options, ride on the semi flat road that's going to be full shade and cold OR head straight up the hill on Vasey line followed by a farm type concession but staying in the warm fall sunshine. I had no coin to toss, there was no burning bush to guide me, it was a tough decision. Cold and easy or warm and hard. HMMM why does that sound dirty all of a sudden. Well my sick twisted mind always takes over and up the hill I went. Yet another great fall ride.

I am a little disappointed in the response of other's on my attempted cross training. HMMM

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Confusing the body all to hell

The sun was shining, the temperature was wonderful and the things falling from the sky were leaves. Why is this fool out with ski poles??? A little change up from the norm. I'd debated about riding but under a little time restraints and the craving from something different the bikes stayed home.

Those running shoes that are in the shoe rack were considered but my opinion of running still stands and I wouldn't want my opinion to be altered. Plus with the Molly Monster still broken running would just be, besides painful, it would be boring. The shoes stayed were they have been for the last year.

Molly wondering where I had been with out her, she is healing well.

I know it's a bad early thought but I'm looking forward to xc skiing, more so skate skiing. Last year i started to really get into it. Technique is huge but even having the base fitness of moving your legs and swinging your arms in some sort of control without the heart rate spiking, by mid season I was able to actually skate without my eyes crossed. Well this year I thought I'd be a little proactive on the training and pulled out my roller blades and skate poles. Having the best flat trail at the bottom of my yard makes things even easier.

So how did I do? Well there was some balance issues at first, they settled. Then the coordination problems which also started to settle in. Two skate came back pretty quickly, one skate is still in need of work but overall it was a great switch. Did start to get a good rhythm going though and ran down some runner's. I warned them that I was armed with spears and they would best be moving out of my way. There were some dirty looks from another pair of runners, guess they're not ready for the season. Screw 'em.

So how far did I go, not all that far but just far enough to give myself a couple blisters. This was one of the other good preps before the snow really comes. Toughen up that skin a little, tape will help. Roughly 9km, good glide, better than my waxing skills. Yet another skill I started to improve at. I'm looking forward to the skiing, but just not yet. The snow can stay away a little longer.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Chasing the light

As the sun drops a little earlier everyday the options of riding alter a little more. It's been a few weeks since I've been out with the MNS crew, the rides seem to taper off a little in the late summer but last night brought out a good group with great weather. Midhurst trails were the playground last night and as we headed out it sounded like a primary school at recess.

It's been a while since I've ridden by L.E.D. and the first few minutes I fought to find my center of balance. Once there I remembered just how much fun it can be running trails in the dark. This was just one of many thrills of the evening. The lead was swapped many times and I found myself at the front as we passed the pond. As I start to turn left up a trail I noticed a log, I noticed the log seemed to move. Didn't think anything of it, thought I was hallucinating and let my mind reality check things. Logs don't move, it's a dead tree, dead things don't move. I rode a foot or so away from the log. 5 seconds later a scream and words I'll opt out to not repeat hear as Shane passes the same log.

What is the first rule in any horror movie? Don't look back. Of course i broke the rule. There be that log that just couldn't be moving, hey look at all those branches it has on it. Yep, porcupine and he seemed to be a little pissed that we disturbed him. Some grumbling, and we were off again.

We made our way to some of the trails that unfortunately would never be in an XC race. This lead to more child like screams, some in excitement, some in fear as wrong turns were made leading to 5 foot drops. After each section the new Ontario Cup rule came into play. Pete, we're starting now to get in practise. The new rule? High 5's and cheers after every cool obstacle the pack rides over. This could lead to some interesting races next year.

It was a ride to remind you just how fun it is to just ride. It's also looking like the rules to the MNS ride are to be brought back. Time to get the single speed finished.

One final thought as it was debated heavily during the evening, Chuck Norris would kick Rocky's ass.

Monday, October 4, 2010


Yes life seems to always be about balance, sometimes in a large scale, sometimes with little things. In this case it was the day's of the weekend. After a crap Saturday I was hoping for a better day, yep I got it.

I decided to pass on the enduro prequel ride, with the sun out I hammered away at the pile for firewood. Great motivation, drop the pile in a spot in the driveway that has the vehicle trapped in until the last piece is moved. After a few more hours of grunt work I needed to reward myself. I flipped a coin and the trials won.

Headed to Copeland forest for a nice spin on the Anthem. I brought music but for some reason I never put the head phones on. I just rode and enjoyed the silence. I was surprised it was that quiet since the parking lot was packed. Maybe everyone realized that it won't be long before spotting the trails will almost be impossible.

The leaves are falling fast, didn't stop me from having some fun with a couple downhill sessions. Didn't hit the berms this time but the new run closer to Pine Ridge. At the bottom I reminded myself that this is not the place to try an open it up. I still had that bug from Friday night in me. The only thing is that I'm completely alone, there is no ski patrol, and I'm in the middle of no where. Yep not the place to ride like a lunatic. I did look for the ski lift though a couple times on the climbs.

The day continued to be highlighted with little things, chill time in the sun room with the sun still up, finding an older movie I've been searching for, and to top it off a 46 tooth chain ring that I didn't know I had that has now made it's way onto the cross bike.

Yep, it was a well balanced weekend.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The day that was stalled

Have you ever had one of those days where every thing you start seems to get stalled out, shut down, or just not what you were hoping the end result would be. That was my yesterday. Started out with lots of great potential, was at the tire guys place early. No the winter tires were not going on the car yet but all the prep work of swapping rims around and getting the winters home were to be done. First screw up, wrong tire size for the winters, second screw up special bolts needed for other rims. This was the way the rest of the day continued.

Ride was kinda blah, knee was making some weird noises caused by the cold. If I changed my cadence to the rhythm I could play a mean tune with the clicking it was making. Highlight of the ride was the return of the snot rocket. Shift a gear, blow the nose, turn a corner, blow the nose. Gotta love chilly weather riding.

From there things just seemed to take long than anticipated and less was done than I hoped. At least the car is nice in clean. The short list of things to do yesterday has now been added to the short list to do today making for a long list. A few other changes have happened for the weeks coming up. Mainly the Thanksgiving weekend. Looks like my plan to race the Midland enduro has been slightly altered. I'll be chilling in Ottawa for a dinner at my sister's. All is not lost though, looking at a cross race on the Sunday morning held by the OBC.

The sun is up, the coffee is brewed and I'm feeling optimistic that today will be more productive. Round two of keeping Matt warm should start shortly. Firewood guy is due for 9am. Initial thoughts of a long ride this morning have gone to the way side. Focus on the need to get done will take over this morning, this is the only chill weekend that things can be done. The off season is really busy with racing it seems.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Following the rules

Following the rules yesterday, well some of them at least. To say it didn't take much convincing to go riding yesterday. Loaded the bike on the car and headed south with one of the Anthem's on the roof. Destination Horseshoe Valley. Three of us showed up early like eager beaver's wearing funny looking bike shorts and as many layers of upper body clothing as possible. The big bulky clothes were for two reasons, first it was cold and going to get colder as the evening went on. 2nd was to make us look as physically big as possible so we could blend in with the downhillers. Yep frail little xc racers with no upper body stand out in the world of baggy shorts and full face helmets.

After a little skills test, I wonder if we impressed the guy with the fact that we rode up the hill to the test area and yes we passed it was time to make the first climb to the top.

Yep I like this type of climbing,

Can you see the excitement on our faces??? Mr. Watson was the mastermind of the idea and Mrs. Simmons was more than happy to leave her husband working away at the Trek Store to join us.

After being told to stay away from one section of trails, which we did eventually go on, it was over to the intermediate trails. As a good description of riding, everything becomes more technical if you just go faster. There were a couple different trail splits and each one kept us smiling. This coasting thing is so much fun.

2.5 hours of climbing and descending lead to 3000 feet of playing. Yes I wore my hr monitor just for curiosity. I've never climbed so well. This place is so much fun, there were talks of season passes and cravings of bikes with more travel. Tammy was riding a hardtail, myself on a 4 inch travel xc bike. Both can be used there with no problems, yes there are jumps and yes the transitions are smooth enough to land on these bikes. Andrew was rocking the perfect bike for this place. I don't think any of us are looking at switching to downhill racing, yet!!!

Had a chance to meet one of the trail builders, he has big ideas that will continue to grow the area. What they have done to this point is amazing. If you get the chance to go before the end of the season it's well worth it.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Fall riding rules?

Like my very short list of rules for when to race and when not to, the fall riding rules are pretty straight forward.

1. There are no minimum ride times.
2. Solo rides are done in optimum conditions.
3. Routes to avoid hills are preferred.
4. Power taps, HR monitors, cadence and speed sensors are allowed but not to be watched.
5. If the words, "Was that a rain drop" are said before any ride it's an instant Get out of ride pass.
6. Trainers and rollers? Not to be even considered until the snow flies.
7. Trail rides should all finish with some fluids that contain alcohol. Amended all rides should finish this way.
8. Sightseeing trumps intensity. Visual zone over hr zone.
9. Night riding is an option and a fun one at that. Doesn't need to be a 24 hour race to play with lights.

Some additional variables. For every degree below 10 degrees Celsius the group should increase by one. 5 degrees equals a pack of 5 riders. There will be no individual suffering. Group rides in the rain? Allowed but needs to be one hell of a great destination or group of people. Refer to rules 5 and 7.

Pretty much a chill night last night, clouds rolled in an hour before I was home from work. Saw a rain drop, followed by a steady shower equalled another day of no riding. Saving my legs for the coasting that will be done this afternoon. With the official not training end of the season ride when you want to season started and do other fun things here I'm enjoying life.

Tonight will have rules 1,3,7 and 8 will be used. Rule 3 will be the cool one tonight. Check in tomorrow for the rundown.

Any more rules that I missed please add them in the comment box. The list will be altered.